After a gap of over three months, Championship Football returns this weekend with relegation-threatened Middlesborough entertaining play-off chasing Swansea City at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday with a 12.30 pm kick-off.
Boro currently sit 19th and only two points clear of the bottom three in the Championship table and are in a real fight to stay in the Division whilst 11th placed Swansea still have an outside chance of reaching the play-offs.
Before the enforced break, Middlesborough picked up their first win in 13 matches after securing a 1-0 victory at Charlton whilst Swansea had to settle for a goalless draw at home to high flying West Brom.
The visitors go into Saturday’s encounter with just a single victory in their last six games which was a 3-1 home victory against Huddersfield Town.
When the sides last met back in December it was Swansea who ran out 3-1 winners, thanks to a brace from Andre Ayew, with Marcus Tavernier replying for Boro.
Middlesborough’s home form has been inconsistent with the hosts picking up 26 points from 19 games. On the other hand, Swansea are already proving to be the draw specialists away from home having picked up nine draws so far this season.
You will have to go back a while to find out when the hosts were last successful at the Riverside, that was back in December on Boxing Day when Middlesborough beat Huddersfield by a single goal.
Ashley Fletcher currently is the home sides leading scorer this season with eight goals closely followed by Lewis Wing on seven. For the welsh side, it is Ghanaian Ayew who is in good form for the Swans, having hit 12 goals already this season, including two in his last four appearances.
In head to head meetings between these sides in the past ten meetings, Middlesborough have only beaten Swansea twice, the last time being back in December 2016 when both sides were in the Premier League and Middlesborough ran out 3-0 winners.
Middlesborough almost certainly will be without key defender Daniel Ayala who looks to have played his last game for the club.
Swansea welcome back George Byers after four months out with an ankle injury and is in contention for a starting place.
Match preview written by Peter Moore.